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Florida Southern’s Strong Start Holds Up

Donny Rieber Jr | Sports Lowdown Gracie Doane

The Florida Tech women’s basketball team gave Florida Southern all it could handle on Wednesday, but in the end, the Mocs’ were up to the task, winning their eighth straight game, 67-62 over the Panthers at the Clemente Center. 

Gracie Doane and Tereza Sedlakova had 14 points apiece, while Gudlaug Juliusdottir put up 10 points. Doane and Juliusdottir led the Panthers in rebounding, each pulling down six.  

Florida Tech (4-8, 0-4 SSC) got off to a slow start, scoring eight points in the first 10 minutes of action, and in the end, that proved costly, as Florida Southern held a 17-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

“We started the game with a missed layup and it got progressively worse in that first quarter,” said Panthers coach John Reynolds. “We had too many opportunities to get easy baskets and we didn’t score.” 

Florida Southern (11-1, 4-0 SSC) started ther second quarter on a 6-0 run, upping their lead to 23-8. In the midst of that streak by the Mocs’ Kailyn Ebb was injured getting hit and falling to the floor on the ball. Inexplicably, all three officials let play continue with Ebb writing in pain on the floor. Reynolds had to call timeout for the officials to pay any attention to the injury.  

Reynolds was seething, and rightfully so. He did pick up a technical foul inthe process, but it was certainly justified. Ebb left the court with 9:33 left in the quarter, with what appeared to be an injured ankle. She would return in the second half, but Reynolds said she was likely running on adreanaline, so he would have to see how she was feeling in the next couple days. 

The Moccasins got their lead back up to 13, 33-20 with 3:35 to go in the half, but the Panthers fought back to cut it to 34-31, on the strength of a couple threes by Doane, who was 4-of-10 behind the arc on Wednesday. 

Anja Fuchs-Robetin hit a couple free throws late in the quarter, sending the Mocs’ to the locker room with a 36-31 lead. She was the leading scorer for the visitors, finishing with a game-high 26 points. 

Florida Southern started the third quarter with another 6-0 run, but the Panthers stayed with them, in a tightly contested stanza that saw Florida Southern finish with an 18-17 advantage and a 54-48 lead, heading into the final 10 minutes. 

Sedlakova’s three-pointer with 6:37 to go cut the Moccasins lead to 59-54 and two free-throws by Amanda Allen cut the deficit to three. Sedlakova’s layup with 3:35 to go made it 61-58 and Ebb followed with a jumper to cut it to one, 63-62, but the Mocs’ sealed it from the free-throw line in the closing seconds. 

“We have to come out and play for forty minutes,” we played for thirty,” said Reynolds. “You gotta play for forty minutes and you better be prepared to play for forty-five or fifty, when you play a good team.” 

For more info: Florida Southern @ Florida Tech Box Score 

The Panthers will take the court at the Clemente Center again on Saturday, hosting a 7-5 Nova Southeastern team. Tipoff is scheduled for 2:00 p.m.